4 min read

Where and Why to Share My Photos Online

Where and Why to Share My Photos Online

Instagram vs Flickr vs 500px vs Reddit vs my Website in a time of too much content

I got into photography after I broke my wrist in 2018. In 14 years, I took terrific and dismal images while travelling the world or visiting my grandparents, and my hard drive holds tens of thousands of files. I shared some of them on Flickr, 500px, and Instagram but never had one place to showcase all of them - they stay hidden on my hard drive.

Now, I want to share my stories with the world. But where? Every possible picture has already been taken and shared too many times? What is my goal, and which platform suits them best?

The Contestants

My Blog

MarkusBloom.com runs on Ghost, and I could create a dedicated page for photos. I’d have one portfolio page and posts within that page to organise them in topics.

(But I have to upload them in low quality to keep the page’s speed up.)

External Portfolio

Sites like Squarespace, Wix, or Adobe Portfolio offer me the option for a professional catalogue with high-quality images.

(But that is another paid service with no traffic.)

Instagram

Every influencer’s first choice. It offers an unrivalled opportunity for reach and engagement and has replaced many peoples’ dedicated portfolios. Why not upload everything to Instagram, the page everyone looks at multiple times a day, instead of curating them on my website, a place rarely visited?

(But I don’t want people to view them in low quality on small phone screens. Also, I have no option to group them, and they will drown in an endless sea of content, becoming obsolete just a few hours after sharing them.)

Flickr & 500px

Communities for photographers offer social functions alongside the option of uploading and grouping high-quality images. Flickr is where I published my first images, and it holds a special place in my heart.

(But haven’t those sites become obsolete, and don’t they suffer from the same abundance of images Instagram does?)

Reddit groups

They are active communities with significant engagement and the option to link high-resolution images. R/photocritique  is where I learned most about photography, and it is on Reddit I got the most positive (and most rude) feedback for my images.

(But what happens after a few days, when my posts have been replaced by newer ones?)

Eyeem, Smugmug, Facebook, and Tumblr

Depending on your needs, there are multiple other options. If all my friends were active on Facebook, I’d probably be best off sharing my pictures there. Luckily, they are not, and I don’t have to look further into other options (even though they might be perfect for you).

What do I want

There is no perfect option because everyone’s needs are different, and I have to become aware of my goals to choose the best one for me. Why do I even bother with photography when so many photos are being taken (over a trillion a year)? Because I want to share my story with the world and interact with interesting people. I also want to learn more about photography, a hobby I have enjoyed for a long time, and the feedback I get online is an excellent source of knowledge.

There is another reason for sharing my images online, and it is the driving force behind most people’s efforts: attention. I have to admit that I not only want to document the path of my life but also would love for other people to read it and be interested in it. Why? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that this attention could even lead to an unbound income that’d enable me to reach my goals. Sadly, this opportunity is also the reason for the low-quality content on the internet.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we’d focus on the quality of content rather than the quantity? I don’t like to care about likes and followers and hate the feeling that most people follow me only to draw attention to their own content (if they are not just bots anyways). Everyone on Instagram, Twitter & Co. desires attention and these pages are made to maximise the amount of content being created and consumed. I would be lying if I said I am not participating in this game myself and don’t follow accounts I am not interested in. It is a thing to be aware of and which I want to improve on in the future.

Telling an authentic story through qualitative content and focussing on delivering value to everyone consuming it is, in my opinion, the only way to success. I am on the incredible journey of turning my highly ambitious dreams into a reality and want to help other people do the same. The content itself doesn’t do anything if it stays hidden in a dark corner of the web, and that is why I have to share it somewhere.

Decision time: My Setup going

And the winner is: Flickr!

... and my website ... and Instagram ...

... and also Reddit

When I sat down to decide on the platform to share my images on, I realised that I was viewing the problem wrong; each platform serves a different purpose, and therefore I can use them alongside.

  • My website will be where I tell my story, and my images will underline the written text.
  • Flickr will be my primary photo collection. Here, I will collect the best images on different topics and can share them in good quality. If I write a post about a trip to London, for example, I will use a few pictures in the article and then link to my Flickr collection for anyone who wants to see a few more images. Why not 500px? Because I like the feel of Flickr. That is the only reason.
  • If Twitter is my notebook, Instagram will be my journal. I will document my daily adventures with pictures taken on my phone. This way, I can stay in touch with people and enjoy the process of creating.
  • And Reddit is to interact with other photographers (and also to get attention). I will directly upload my images to the different subreddits and mention the correlating Flickr album (if suited).

This is the setup I will test going forward. At the end of the year, I will re-evaluate my decision and see whether I need to change something. Be sure to follow my newsletter to do so. (Another channel …)

Bonus

The secret champion: A physical photo book
My mom puts together the best picture of a holiday in a photo book, something I couldn’t understand as a teenager. Why would I invest time and money to store images on a shelf when I can look at all of them on my phone? But guess which pictures are getting looked at by everyone on Christmas.